Sonny Terry (1911-1986)
An original whose work could make a stone shed tears
Saunders Terrell, better known as Sonny Terry (24 October 1911, Greensboro,
North Carolina - 11 March 1986, Mineola, New York was a blind blues musician.
He was most widely known for his energetic blues harmonica style, which
frequently included vocal whoops and hollers, and imitations of trains and
fox hunts. His father, a farmer, taught him to play basic blues harp as a youth.
He sustained injuries to his eyes and lost his sight by the time he was 16,
which prevented him from doing farm work himself. In order to earn a living
Terry was forced to play music. He began playing in Shelby, North Carolina.
After his father died he began playing along with Piedmont-style guitarist
Blind Boy Fuller. When
Blind Boy Fuller
died, he established a long-standing musical relationship with
and the pair recorded numerous tracks together. The duo became well-known,
even among white audiences, as they joined the growing folk movement of the
1950s and 1960s. This included collaborations with
Woody Guthrie and
Moses Asch, producing Folkways Records classic recordings. In 1938 Terry was
invited to play at Carnegie Hall for the first From Spirituals to Swing
concert, and later that year he recorded for the Library of Congress. In
1940 Terry recorded his first commercial sides. Despite their fame as
"pure" folk artists, in the 1940s, Terry and
fronted a jump blues combo with honking saxophone that was variously called
and his Jook House Rockers or Sonny Terry and his Buckshot Five.
Terry was also in the 1947 original cast of the Broadway musical comedy,
Finian's Rainbow. Terry's song Fox Chase was used by the
experimental filmmaker Len Lye as the soundtrack for his short film,
i>Color Cry (1952). Old Lost John was used by Werner Herzog at
the conclusion of his 1977 feature film, Stroszek. More recently Terry's
track Whoopin' The Blues was used for a EON Wind Farm brand commercial.
Terry died in 1986, the year he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
(quoted from wikipedia.org)
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Sonny Terry Tribute Pages
Sonny Terry tribute page at myspace.com.
Biographical Information on Sonny Terry
Sonny Terry biography at wikipedia.org.
Sonny Terry biography at bluesharp.ca.
Sonny Terry biography by Al Campbell.
Sonny Terry biography and MP3 files at livinblues.com.
Sonny Terry biography by Glenn Weiser.
Sonny Terry biography at mudcat.org.
Sonny Terry biography by Anna Huntley.
Sonny Terry biography at document-records.com.
Various Articles on Sonny Terry
Article by Tony Standish.
Sonny Terry Tabs
Sonny Terry tabs at 911tabs.com.
Sonny Terry tabs at chordie.com.
Sonny Terry Lyrics
Lyrics of 46 Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee songs.
Lyrics of many Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee songs.
Sonny Terry Photos
Sonny Terry photo by Danny Wilson.
Sonny Terry Audio Files
Sonny Terry - Telephone Blues. MP3 file, runtime 03:24.
Sonny Terry - Harmonica Blues. MP3 file, runtime 02:40.
Sonny Terry - Riff And Harmonica Jump. MP3 file, runtime 02:47.
Sonny Terry Videos
A short film of harmonica great, Sonny Terry by Yasha Aginsky. Runtime 05:43.
Sonny Terry - These Women Is Killin' Me (1966). Runtime 02:05.
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee: Two More Songs. Runtime 04:06.
Sonny Terry - I Got My Eyes On You. Runtime 03:28.
Sonny Terry - Hootin' the Blues. Runtime 04:21.
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